Saturday, December 2, 2023

Rochester 3

We checked out before 10am on the Sunday and planned to brunch at the local bakery where we bought cake the day before. It was not to be as it was closed. This seems so silly as Sunday would be a busy day for the bakery. If it wanted to close, Monday or Tuesday would be better days. We went back to the cafe where we brunched the day before and shared a large sausage roll with coffee, and on our way we went. 

Normally I would not write about an uneventful trip home but Tradie Brother convinced me it would not be too far out of our way to visit Colbinabbin. I think I've broken my tongue, so don't even try to pronounce the name. We don't know and neither does Tradie Brother. Colbo for short. It is a bit of a one horse town without much of interest, except these.

Ah, just to slip this one in as we departed Rochester. It is always nice to see a good clock. 

Margaret reminded me that I took a photo of the Shamrock Hotel where we dined the first night. It is a great example of the hotel style at the time and a great example of a thorough incompetent behind a phone camera.

With a smaller hotel right next door.

These huge and heavy trucks break up roads everywhere. Clearly roads now need to be built to a higher standard. There were a lot of these trucks travelling through the centre of town. 

So, more silo art in Colbo. 

Annual picnic day perhaps.

There is a tractor pulling competition.

Noisy it seems. 

The CFA is a volunteer fire fighting organisation. 

The local train station with waiting passengers.

The piece de resistance. R took a selfie and it looked like smoke from the train was pouring into his head, rather like I took a camera photo in the '80s of a water spout coming out of his head at the Lake Burley Griffin. Maybe the train trucks being towed are full of wheat. 

Song lyrics encouraging people to visit Colbo.

I didn't link to him yesterday but Tim Bowtell painted these silos, the same artist who painted the Iddles Lane mural panels I showed you yesterday.

We are away again this weekend for the scattering of Mother's and Step Father's ashes. Back soon.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Rochester 2

Saturday morning we brunched at 7 Beans Coffee. Neither of us were very hungry so we shared a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. By chance I discovered nearby Iddles Lane, with this series of murals featuring the life and times of retired homicide detective, the well known Ron Iddles who was born in Rochester. Victorians may well remember seeing Ron on tv for media appearances. The artist is Tim Bowtell. 

Ron was one of twins and his twin brother Barry is a successful and entrepreneurial chef of world renown. He owns a couple of restaurants in Queenscliff, near Sister. This is a broken website but the text is still there.

We crossed the main street, past this park and over the railway lines to another park to see...

some silo art. The artist is the well known Dvate and the murals are excellent.

A closer look at the park we walked past.

The table and benches are strange with a roof like structure that is open and would let the hot sun through, and rain. Style over substance.

The extended family of our Hairdresser Friend are buried in this cemetery about half an hour's drive away, including her father. We met my two brothers there and spent about half an hour wandering the cemetery until the flies drove us away. The flies seemed very attracted to the personal insect repellent I had applied to myself. 

Rumours of the death of James O'Brien are exaggerated and I doubt he would want be buried here. 

James died a little short of his sixtieth birthday.

This old masonry grave was given a renovation at some point with tiles added. The glue was not great. 

We were returning to our motel but ended up driving straight past and on to the local bakery for cake and coffee. 

Back at the motel R napped. When he woke I suggested a spa. It was too small for two, I went first. There were a couple of tubes of lotion to pour into the water. I was going to see if one would be enough but R said to use both. It was ok at this stage but once in and the spa jet function turned on, the foam was growing alarmingly. I just kept pushing it over the tiled side and let some water out to lower the level. I won the battle, but only just. When R took his turn, he couldn't get in because the water was too hot. That was after I'd been in and the jets had blown cold air into the water. More water was drained and cold added.  The foam was starting to reduce by now. Good fun.

It was back to Step Mother's where my brothers were cooking roast lamb for dinner. Tradie Brother looked after the meat and ABI Brother, the vegetables. I set the table and R made gravy, while Step Mother's partner got in the way in the kitchen. Five men in a kitchen to make one roast meal. Step Mother remained in her usual lounge room chair and ate her meal there. She was terribly interested in the tv and although I wanted to talk to her properly, it just wasn't the time. After dinner we again fled said our goodbyes and she thanked us for visiting. Her partner really enjoyed having the company. 

It is a sad situation for them, and just like Mother, they did not  set themselves up early enough in comfort before they became too old. I expect Step Mother will go into care a long way away in Latrobe Valley near her daughter, and her partner will stay in the house as long as he can with increased services. 

Thursday, November 30, 2023


After years of faultless performance, TPG has finally let us down with our Fibre to the Building via its private cable, failing us. The net was off and on and then just incredibly slow. That is like a two minute delay to answer blog comments this evening. IE, I would write a reply and the computer would hang for two minutes before publishing. Consequently there isn't a post for today and even getting this published has been so time consuming. Not happy Jan. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rochester 1

I drove the quickest route to where we were staying in Rochester to visit Step Mother and her partner. About half the trip was freeway at 110 km/h, 70.. We stopped off at Calder Park truck stop, with so many chain takeaway options available. We bought very unhealthy deep fried chicken and dreadful coffee. 

After the town of Kyneton, we were off freeway and on serious country roads. I was out of practice with driving along hilly, winding and narrow country roads at 100 km/h/60. I was somewhat stressed, with the sat nav being unhelpful. I should have used my phone and Google Maps. There were showers of rain and at one time torrential rain that caused me to slow down. But we made it almost within the 2.45 suggested hours.

How nice! The Motel owner upgraded us to the best room.

Tradie and ABI Brother were staying overnight at Step Mother's, so around 4 we drove 15 minutes or so to visit Step Mother. She is now 85 and her partner is mid 90s. At the back of the house down a few steps is an informal area with a large table and chairs and we and my brothers sat there chatting with Step Mother's partner who is hard of hearing. Even though it was not even 6pm, both of my brothers were drunk as skunks. ABI had his voice at the volume he used to use to make Mother hear him. All voices were raised to speak to Bill. We were chatting for well over an hour, with no sign of Step Mother although we could see she was sitting at her laptop computer at a desk sitting in a chair. She mostly reposts pretty flowers and scenery to FaceBook. Later she said she heard our voices and was surprised we were there too.

Well, I am here to see her, so I must. She was by then lying nearly flat in the lounge room watching horse racing on the the tv. She doesn't gamble, so I wonder why? She has bad spinal arthritis and in constant severe pain. R and I chatted a bit to her, but she seemed distracted by what was on tv.

As soon as it was polite, we fled, reapplied our lippy at the motel and drove for a minute or so to the Shamrock Hotel. R ate a nice beef burger and I chose the entre serve garlic prawns with rice and salad. The salad had the most amazing dressing, one I have never tasted before. Six prawns were plenty for me. The tucker was delicious.

Once back at our room, heavy rain pounded down on our roof. Tradie Brother said 12mm overnight. but there was more earlier. 

R slept for 11 hours, exhausted. Here are a few photos, mostly from the first day. Rings at the pub for you to hitch your horse?

I can't say the interior of the hotel was lovely, but the exterior wasn't too bad. 

Our room had a spa bath. 

Yeah, ok. Clever, but is Doin Time still an operating business?

The doorway to our motel room. The hatch to the right of the door is to deliver breakfast on a tray. It was sealed up. But breakfast could still be delivered with a knock at the door. 

The pewl darling, the pewl. 

I tried for an arty photo of dew drops sitting on grass leaves. Bit of a fail. The don't glisten as they did when I saw them. 

Words #397

I pronounce words so differently to many people in Australia. I don't know why. It is just how I speak. Here are some  examples. Integra...